Since I remember that today is actually Thursday, and, it has been a busy week I might as well use this format today.
This post brought to you by the letter S;
- School board meeting! It is one of my new hobbies to go to local meetings. I’ve met a good bunch of people and if you are going to be surrounded by politics, they might as well be meaningful.
- Spin class! Last week and this week Lars and I went together. The class is at a time we can both do and with the winter closing in we need an activity. I put my step counter on my ankle and got pretty good results, not perfect count, but I’m over 8k after the class when I went in at 4ish so a solid 4k steps.
- Social Media! First ‘normal’ week with all my clients and things are going pretty well. I still can’t believe that I’m actually getting paid to post on facebook and Instagram… it isn’t exactly easy because I still need to pull together all the things etc, but, I really do enjoy it. I like putting on all the different company hats and playing the game from their perspective.
There is more going on of course. We celebrated our favorite babysitters birthday today, she is now old enough to leave home alone in charge of kids (before she was a mothers helper with another adult around every time). We are also looking at Thanksgiving plans and I’m figuring out the month of November in general. Need to save something for tomorrow and Walking Dead is waiting for me just after bed time is achieved.
The day has finally come! 3 kids in school….
At 9:04 the car looks like this
at 9:08 it looks like this
Today and Wednesday (Fiona is home Tuesday and Thursday still) I’ve already got pretty full this week. With school comes a new group of people to work with on crazy things like billing and the beginning is always a mess. I am glad I could go to the office and fix it in 5 min rather than endless emails to try and explain the yes… she is in this class… no she is not in that one… sorry I have no answer for why she seems to be in both – please don’t bill me for both. I also have the stack of things that could wait until I had time to talk on the phone and that stack is now addressed (and some even solved!).
The exciting thing for the day is a new client meeting at 2. I can take a meeting at 2!!! Hopefully, we can get lined up on the project and I can start for her. An additional client is just what I need right now to fill in. Between now and 2 I still have all the normal Monday things, it isn’t like I did nothing but parent all the other Mondays in the past 4 years, but this time, I can do them without interruption.
For posterity, here is Fiona on her first day of PreK.
She didn’t want a sign, she wouldn’t write her name because she was too excited to go. Maybe she will for the scrapbook when she gets home (maybe not). She is wearing the outfit she picked out last week, I can’t believe it is so tame. Last night her anxiety came out with a 40min fit about nothing in particular but I think was mostly because school was in the morning. Since she is #3 I have done this 2 other times and she was with me for all three, but, she was always the one waving goodbye to her sister, not to her mom. I think it hit her Friday at orientation that this was her turn. With Niamh we made a half dozen trips to the school to get used to things, and, she was a year older since she started with Kindergarten, not preK. Zoe was just ready, I think she is actually ready for college if she could just master what direction b and d go. Fiona got swept along with this and I am pretty sure she will do ok. By the end of orientation she was making friends and playing and this morning she looked a little skeptical but ready.
Me, I’m ready. I think. I’ll let you know next week after the shock of 3 days a week wears off.
weather; 90 degrees! wow! (28c) but it actually felt fine because no humidity
nap; I took one, Fiona did not
building; I’m well on the way to done with the newest project
This week was an anomaly (I hope). We had so many morning activities that I’m absolutely exhausted. I’m starting to feel like I live in a TV town because I’m going to so many quaint activities, its a nice feeling that I am ‘living the ideal’ (but it is still exhausting)
Monday was normal but always a busy day especially being the first of the month so I did all the things I promised to do on the first of the month. Tuesday I had a teacher breakfast and it went really well. First year for me and I see a few things to make it run more smoothly but on the whole it was easy. Good thing about teachers is they are serve themselves type of people, not to mention on a schedule so they arrived and departed like a flock of birds.
Wednesday Niamh and Lars had early dentist appointments so they were out by 7:30 but that means I was up at 7 to pack lunches and then did the rest of the morning solo. Thursday was a normal morning but we headed over to the library for an author visit and they sang and ‘rocked’ with the kids. Pretty nice setup overall and I met a few mom friends there. Then, as I posted yesterday, I went to the school board meeting and it was pretty enlighting. They welcomed me so aggressively I wonder about them a little… am I a particularly good catch or just a willing warm body? I’ll be going to more meetings and potentially running in the fall, we will see. Anyway, they informed me of a happening at the local high school today running from 8-2. We normally wake up at 8 (ok, get out of bed) so being somewhere at 8 for the 3rd time in a week was hard.
It was so worth it! Bring 3 cute girls to a high school agriculture event and you will know how rock stars are treated. The students think little kids are the cutest and they were in good form too – bows in their hair, asking cute questions like “how many feathers does a turkey have?” and “how many eggs do they lay?” (A: 3000ish and nearly 1 a day). The majority of the people there were other students so we stuck out in a very nice way. More than once the sea parted and they got first service based on cute power. We held 2 week old goats, pet a 3 day old calf, held chicks, pet a snake, learned about buffalo, got free cheese curds and actually passed by a ton of other free food showing what pork and beef and dairy can turn into in a tasty way. You can tell where the majority of HS boys were congregating – we skipped those lines 🙂 It is an even we will definitely do in the future. We had to run at 9 to get the kids to school but it was a totally fun morning.
My afternoons were all busy building or cleaning (or both) and I’m ready for a relaxing night.
I’m starting to really love time hop. This app reinforces my tendency to compare now to last year or 4 years ago by literally telling me what I published in previous years. Yesterday it noted a blog post and I semi-forgot what I wrote so I clicked. When I read it I was transported to a time that I thought I would never forget, a time I have forgotten… I wrote the post because I loved the messy snapshots that were with all the photos of baby Lars. The unposed, un fixed. That day I dissected a snapshot and I’m so glad I did because yesterday I remembered so much that I had forgotten.
Today I want to try again. This probably isn’t too interesting to anyone else unless you also happen to be in the same situation as me, or, ever wondered what the stay at home mom house looks like at 11:30am…
This is the same corner of the house as 4 years ago but instead of a 1 year old Zoe you can see a 3 year old Fiona. A person who didn’t even exist yet! Instead of the constant interaction of the 1 year old crowd, Fiona is upstairs playing and fairly indipendant – I actually had to call her to be in the picture and she was busy ‘reading to her babies’. She doesn’t really let me get away with doing my own thing for long, I need to be on call at all times for potty help, doll dressing, to look at something, or to kiss whatever part of her body she has hurt.
I feel like I have to say that our kitchen and stairs are suffering from us being away for the weekend and we just dumped things in the hall. But yes… it is rare to have a perfect kitchen in our house and this is all about the real way not the way I like to see in pretty pictures.
The detail in the last post hooked me because I know I was writing totally mundane details but 4 years later I was so happy for the reminder. Today you can see Halloween decorations up – the kids actually leave them alone and are glad of the glowing pumpkins. Zoe helped make the paper flowers and the only decoration that gets messed with are the little Halloween ducks you can hardly see on the ledge. I also like the look of my nice wood stairs and ledge, way better than builder grade carpet that was impossible to get clean. I don’t miss that stuff!
The table has some breakfast still, Fiona and I eat second shift breakfast. We send the bigger kids off to school and we eat before we go off to whatever we are doing. We go out almost every day and this day we were out to a workout by 9:30 so it was an eat and run day. Same goes for the cereal bags on the floor, I feel like I should leave them there, but I promise, they do go away daily. The table also has a pile of school product – I’m not quite sure what to call the ‘bounty’ of paper we get daily from school but I sit every afternoon with them and go through it all. Sometimes they love the snuggle and attention and tell me about each paper, other days they are too into playing and I peruse it solo. I pull out the most important things and the rest gets recycled.
Speaking of recycling… the walmart bag on the back of the chair is full of walmart bags. I’m bursting with the things and I’m never sure what to do with them. They are not recyclable, I can only use so many trash bags and I hate throwing them away to just fill a landfill. The other bag on the floor was just from that morning. How it got on the floor I don’t know but it had a set of riding gloves in it. Amazon prime has made us so spoiled with things arriving daily 🙂
The bag on the chair is from a playdate from last week. It has moved from in the car to the hall and from the hall to storage but then it was used to pack animals for the trip and when it ripped (pre trip) it was abandoned. I like to let the kids pack themselves, they are learning about space and what is good for packing into etc. That bag now is holding the newest batch of recycling, waiting for a child chore time to bring it out.
And I want to remember the things you don’t see too. There are no boosters, they rejected them a few weeks ago. There are no sisters, they are in school every day. There are no sippy cups or bottles or multiple sets of spoons because I need to feed someone. There are no toys, no highchairs, no exersaucers… I’m happy for every step forward but there is still a fond memory of the other things too.
My days now are busy in a new way. I go workout 3 days a week at 9:30 and except for a rare day we have playdates the other 2. We do school ‘stuff’ when the bigger girls get home but Fiona likes to play school in her room with her animals and barbies. We do some housework together but usually I tidy wherever she wants to be and get the other things when she naps or is playing. This is my last year with a full time child at home so next years ‘normal’ will be radically different again.
I don’t know if you will take my advice but take a picture of your life with no edits, you will be happy in about 4 years 🙂
I recently read this NYTimes article that more or less says that there are now schools with a policy against parents bringing things forgotten at home.
As always, the interesting part is in the comments where there is debate about this….
Is it right for the school to dictate this sort of policy?
I can see that the constant flow of parents to the school with forgotten items can get in the way of running a school, not to mention kids coming to the office to get it, or, parents disrupting class time to bring the forgotten item. On the other hand, a flat out policy AGAINST really feels like there will be trouble when super allergy child forgets their lunch and gets to starve because they can’t eat school lunch and nobody can bring the lunch.
When is a child ‘old enough’ to be responsible?
I don’t know… there are people who say suffering young makes them more responsible faster but then there are adults that are still constantly forgetting things. Did that adult have an indulgent parent, or, are they just forgetful? I know some kids just loose or forget all the time – luckily my kids seem to have it more or less under control but I also remind and I’ve brought things to school a few times over the past few years. In my opinion, I’m not bringing anything that I told them 5x to put in their backpack but I like that I get to make that call.
At what point are you hurting the child by helping, or, hurting them by letting the swing?
Another big I don’t know. I can see the rule basically as a shield for parents, they can’t bring something so their child knows there is no bail out coming. The child can’t spend half the day hopeful that their parent will appear with the missing form/lunch/homework/snowpants and be disappointed in the end when the parent does not turn up (either by decision or inability or just didn’t even notice the missing item). In that way the rule is a good thing, all kids know that no adults can or will bail them out at school.
There is also the case where it isn’t the kids fault… Lars forgot to pack a snack for Niamh one morning because he didn’t even know she needed one and I was at an early meeting. I was going by the school anyway so I dropped the snack in her locker; ironically – she never saw it and went snackless anyway. However, she saw it when she packed up and knew that I was looking out for her. Opportunities to be a hero are pretty slim and I’m glad to take the moment where I can.
It is an interesting and many-sided situation. I know as an adult I hate the feeling I get when I forget something I need like my wallet or my lunch or phone. It puts me off my game and I think that I bring stuff for my kids when its important because I don’t want them missing a day of focus in school because they are worried about it. I’m also sure I’m completely overthinking this but if you read the article I’m not alone in overthinking.
We are moving into our 3rd week of school and (fingers crossed) the first 5 day stretch for both. The first week was only 4 days, the second they each had a sick day and here we are at week 3…
I say it takes 2 weeks to get used to anything and you can get used to anything in two weeks. Proven true again. Those first few mornings were crazy trying to re-remember how to pack lunch and wear socks and get to the bus on time. There is a new bus protocol where we have to go through the daycare building rather than wait in the parking lot. I’m still not ‘used’ to that nuance of annoyance but I’m working with it. Homework routine is established. The balance has now tipped and instead of Niamh being odd man out with homework and longing to go play with her sisters (for the record we usually let her and she did her homework in the morning, our bus comes at 8:40 we have time) – Fiona wants to join her sisters so I have to make up ‘homework’ for her as I help the other two. Thankfully for Kindergarten and Second grade the homework is more a demo of what they are learning and a minor amount of practice and, if they just do it, it only takes 10 min or less.
During this transition 2 weeks I jumped back into business mode a bit. The networking group yielded real results and I’m happily setting up a new client. That did mean 3 meetings I had to wiggle into the schedule but most kids have 2 parents that work full time, mine can handle me being in or at a meeting a few hours a week.
What Fiona and I do all day is getting redefined too. I’ve found I CAN do a bunch of housework so long as I’m within her sight and/or she leaves me. She is not a fan of me going places without her but will often be happy to come with me to the laundry or pantry etc. I basically CANT touch a computer unless she is asleep. That shifts things around but I can work with it. She is also growing out of naps. She still needs them but has trouble getting calm enough to actually lie down. The nap walk – me walking about a mile with her in the stroller – is our compromise and she requests the nap walk. I am glad this works for now but I’m not sure about winter. Given what I CAN do in the form of longer projects, we have been working on transitioning Fiona’s room from nursery to bedroom. We got her a nice shelf to replace the changing table that has been nothing but storage for months. We also convinced her finally that she could leave her crib. She isn’t so sure about the lack of walls and she told me this morning her bed was too short but at some point you have to put the crib away. Now I get to go on Pinterest and see what I can do with a crib 😉
I’ve also gotten sucked into these brain teasing games and I Highly Recommend. They are on the gory side and a little creepy but clever and well done. I used all my Fiona asleep time yesterday on one of these…. Sorry in advance about what you will now neglect because you are clicking clicking clicking….
That is the long and short of what I’ve been doing. Weekends are getting to be the fun-zone time again since we can’t do many things during the week. I’m still doing plenty of playdates with Fiona and the world is just easier with a single child **but only after you have had a bunch** I’m sure an only child is a handful if they are all you know. Kids are like goldfish, they expand to take up all the resources you possibly have.
I must get back to the list of things to do, that mail pile isn’t going to sort itself.